I’m guessing, that even if he said otherwise, Luke Haines would have been more than a bit peeved at the lack of attention given to Off My School At The Art School Bop and the Leeds United EP. Less than 15 years after The Auteurs had sparked into life, he was more or less a forgotten figure while a number of his Britpop peers remained very much in the limelight despite the fact that much of their music was fourth or fifth rate and would never have seen the light of day if it wasn’t for their history.

The next thing of significance to happen was that Black Box Recorder came together with Art Brut to release a one-off single in December 2007:-

mp3 : The Black Arts – Christmas Number One
mp3 : The Black Arts – Glam Casual

The a-side was written by Haines and Luke Moore, while the b-side was the work of Eddie Argos of Art Brut, although members of both bands performed on both tracks, all under assumed names, some of which were linked to those who had enjoyed Christmas Number One singles.

The a-side is every bit the pisstake/back-handed complement to the genre as you’d expect by now.  Don’t imagine, despite the tune being tailor-made for festive radio, that it got much airtime.

The following year proved to be a very quiet one in terms of new material. The only newsworthy item was the unexpected reformation of Black Box Recorder in October 2008 to perform at a benefit gig for the familt of the late Nick Sanderson (of the band Earl Brutus) – the others on the bill were the Jesus And Mary Chain and British Sea Power. Before the year was out, BBR announced two more gigs of their own for February 2009, both of which sold out very quickly.

In January 2009, Bad Vibes was published, and all of a sudden, Luke Haines was back in the limelight thanks to the universal acclaim for his first volume of memoirs. It somewhat overshadowed the BBR reunion with Haines very much the only one really in demand among the media, almost all of whom just wanted to talk about the book and his current thoughts and views on the state of modern pop music, to which he replied that he no longer read the music press, listened only to Radio 4 (the spoken word station) and as such he knew nothing about contemporary rock & roll. He also told everyone he was happy.

The anticipated new material from BBR never arrived and instead we were treated to new solo material, the first in more than two years…..but that’s for next week.




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